The Tools We Use

I came across this quote by Anne Lamott:

“It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools – friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty – and said ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do’. And mostly, against all odds, they do.”
― Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

When we consider coping strategies, we often think about the tangible things we have learned over time. Grounding techniques such as deep breathing when we feel anxious, positive affirmations when we experience self-doubt, acting ‘as-if’ when we feel quite unmotivated, building our time, self-care strategies.

Lamott reminds us; however, that the tools we use can also come from what we ascribe meaning to. For some people, that will be friendships or prayer, for others their value system and moral code. We can lean into the qualities that we hold dear such as authenticity and grace, honesty and connection. We can learn from our mistakes which leads to wisdom and when we know better, we do better which leads to patience. We can experience and learn from grief, from forgiveness, from both our challenges and our joys. We can lean into laughter and contentedness.

What becomes the tools we use will follow not only what we deem to work best for us, but also what sits well with our soul. Thank you for the reminder, Anne Lamott 🙂

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3 thoughts on “The Tools We Use”

  1. I read her books “on repeat”, I love her description of her spiritual practice as a raggedy faith, a reminder that it’s not going to be perfect and doesn’t need to be.


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